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QLD Ex has Mental Health Illness - Get Family Court Orders?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by slaw, 10 August 2015.

  1. slaw

    slaw Member

    24 July 2014
    Likes Received:
    I've been separated from my children's father for over two years. He has refused to see or talk to his children for nearly 18 months. Unfortunately, he suffers from a mental health illness and abuses prescription medication with alcohol for his condition.

    Family court orders were never put in place when he left. I would like to get one in order to protect our children knowing that he is getting worse. He is displaying more illogical and irrational behaviour. How do I get one?

    I fear if I start proceedings with his knowledge, that this will be the catalyst that will make him snap. Do I leave it how it is and not get one and hope he continues to ignore his children while mentally unstable or do I get one and stir up a hornets nest? Are there special circumstances that I can apply without his knowledge due to the fear of his mental illness?

    Thank you in advance for any advice.
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    If there are not currently any issues, then you're probably better to leave things as they are and not worry about getting orders. I say this for several reasons.

    First, there's no way to pursue parenting orders without the other party knowing. They have to be served and given an opportunity to respond, because after all, they're his kids, too, not just yours. You first have to attend family dispute resolution with the father before proceedings for parenting orders can even begin.

    Second, getting parenting orders is a costly process - financially and emotionally. You're looking at upwards of $25,000 and two years of court procedures, and you don't even get the guarantee of a favourable outcome.

    Third, if you commence proceedings, you may find the father could respond by seeking orders that the children live with him. If you don't have any evidence that the father is suffering a mental illness of such severity that he poses a threat to the kids and should spend no time with them, then who is to say he won't argue that you're fabricating evidence to try and remove him from the children's lives, and that their best chance of having a relationship with both parents is to be removed from your care?

    If you have no current and compelling reasons to get a parenting order, other than simply wanting one, then it's better left alone. After all, there are no laws governing how families should operate, until one of the parents ask the court to intervene. Thus, I would say you should have a very good reason to ask the court to intervene before actually doing so.
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